As of Wednesday, May 5, 2021


Lane Blankenship

Dec. 10, 1961 – April 26, 2021

Lane Virgil Blankenship passed away Monday, April 26. He was born on Dec. 10, 1961, in Carthage, to David and Joan Blankenship. They both preceded him in death.

He was an avid Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Lane is survived by his children Jana (Cody) Smith, Chaunda (Scott) Sarley, Russell (Candice) Blankenship, Derek Blankenship, Alex Blankenship, JC Blankenship, JR Maggard, Tara (Austin) Chittim, and Brady Tymeson; 14 grandchildren; two brothers, Scott (Genie) Blankenship, Wyatt (Jennifer) Blankenship; one sister, April (Curtis) Greathouse; and many nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were held Friday April 30, at Oak Hill Cemetery in Carthage. Arrangements were under the direction of Ulmer Funeral Home.


Ralph Handlin

Aug. 16, 1933 – April 27, 2021

Ralph Burton Handlin, was born Aug. 16, 1933, to Frank and Hester Handlin in Geneseo, Kan., the eighth of ultimately nine children in the family. He graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in industrial engineering and is an Army veteran of the Korean War.

While the boy left the Kansas farm, the farm never left the boy! Ralph could often be found in his vegetable or rose garden, caring for the dogs and cats, nourishing a fruit or pecan tree, tinkering with a small motor or out on his tractor or riding lawn mower.

Ralph’s contribution to the Joplin area community is woven into its history. As the division superintendent of the Joplin Gas Service Co. for many years, he led a dedicated team to help his community be safe, fed and warm. His quick thinking after the collapse of the Connor Hotel to use natural gas sniffing equipment helped locate the men trapped below.

As a civil engineer, Ralph designed many of our community gas systems and the transportation of this resource through pipeline underground and across bridges. After tornados would tear apart this infrastructure, he would always be part of the solution to put it back together. He had his own engineering firm for some time and also worked for the Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety.

Ralph encouraged others to work hard to reach their goals whether he was at the office, on the Little League baseball field, as a husband, father, grandfather. He was an active member of the United Methodist Church, both in Webb City and in Joplin. His deep baritone voice was often heard in the choir.

Ralph passed Tuesday, April 27, 2021, after a brief illness. He will be missed by the many lives he touched.

Ralph was predeceased by his first wife, Billie Joan Strella.

He is survived by his wife of 19 years Melanie; his brother, Max Handlin and wife Sharron; his son Larry Handlin and wife Leslie and son Lucas; daughter Vickie and husband Alvin McGill along with Vickie’s sons Derek Suelzle, Matthew Suelzle and wife, Arissa and their daughter Peyton. He is also survived by his stepchildren, Scott Blizzard his wife Melanie and their children Darcy, Dancy and husband Jesse; Nick Blizzard his wife Heather and Nick’s children Chelsea, Clinton and Caitlin along with Chelsea’s husband Josh Sherwood and daughter Alexus Sherwood, Clinton’s daughter December Blizzard and Heather’s son Brodyn Day and step grandson James McGill.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s, Joplin Humane Society, or United Methodist Church Joplin, in care of the mortuary.

A memorial of Ralph’s life was held Sunday at United Methodist Church Joplin. Arrangements were under the direction of Parker Mortuary.


Philip Hathcock

Jan. 22, 1933 – April 27, 2021

Philip Ray Hathcock, age 88, of Carterville, passed away Tuesday, April 27, following a recent decline in health.

He was born Jan. 22, 1933, in Iantha, Mo. to Benjamin Phillip and Vera May (Evans) Hathcock.

He attended Spring Valley School. After school he farmed with his dad. He then worked for Independent Gravel. He was drafted in October 1955 and was stationed at several duty stations including Germany. He was discharged in October 1957 after which he served with Webb City “Hound Dog” National Guard. He was employed with Rex Metallic Casket. He retired from the Missouri Department of Transportation after 22 years of service. He enjoyed camping, his animals and especially his grand and great-grandchildren.

Phil married Dixie Horn on April 10, 1955, and she survives. He is also survived by his son Dan Hathcock and wife Heidy; two grandchildren, Krisalyn Manes and husband Tim, Webb City, and Sam Hathcock, Ft. Collins, Colo.; great-grandchildren, Jack, Amy, Rachel and Isabella; one brother, Jerry Hathcock, Clinton; and very special extended family members, Isaac, Tiffanie, Lilliana, Gavin and Logan, as well as numerous friends.

Funeral services were held Monday at Mason-Woodard Mortuary, with Randy Wilson officiating. Burial, with full military honors, was in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Joplin Humane Society, in care of the mortuary.


Terry Preston

Sept. 15, 1942 – April 28, 2021

Terry A. Preston, age 78, of Sarcoxie, passed away Wednesday, April 28, at his home. He was born in Coffeyville, Kan., to Elbert Preston and Margaret (Solomon) Preston on Sept. 15, 1942. He retired after 26 years as a construction supervisor and was a member of the Shepherd’s Chapel in Gravette, Ark. He attended school in Joplin and graduated with an associates degree from Fayetteville College. 

Terry married Linda (Bussear) Preston on May 21, 1990, and she survives. He is also survived by his son, Steve Preston, Webb City; a daughter, Sherry Greninger, Joplin; a son, Jonathan Palmer, Austin, Texas; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

Visitation was Tuesday, May 4, at Simpson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Carthage Humane Society, 13860 Dog Kennel Lane, Carthage, MO 64836.

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